SEQUIM — “Four Women” starts with a secret, and a thirst for the truth.
Christina, at 56, is moving her mother Sheri into a home for people with Alzheimer’s disease. While going through her mom’s things, Christina discovers three letters from a mysterious man named Robert Cabot.
The content of the missives, plus a photograph, send Christina on a quest for honesty — she believes Cabot, not her mother’s husband, is her father — so she writes her own letters to four women: Cabot’s sister Elizabeth, now 101; his friend Bootsie; his Italian immigrant wife Vera; and Sheri, her mother whose memory is sometimes clear, sometimes not.
This drama comes from the pen of Port Angeles playwright Rebecca Redshaw, and the one actress who brings the four women to life is Marianne Trowbridge, 86.
Talk to Trowbridge about her performance of “Four Women” this coming Saturday night in Sequim, and her delight comes through clearly.
She’ll take the new main stage at Olympic Theatre Arts, 414 N. Sequim Ave., in a one-time-only performance to benefit Parenting Matters, a nonprofit offering resources and activities for Clallam County families.
The play is part of a double feature with “A Conversation with Hattie McDaniel,” another Redshaw play; curtain is at 7 p.m. and tickets to both are $20 at Pacific Mist Books, 121 W. Washington St., or at the door.
“I worked about a year on [‘Four Women’] before I performed it,” Trowbridge said.
She’s starred in this play four times now, at venues from Port Angeles to LaPush.
The veteran performer has shaped and polished Bootsie’s Southern drawl and Vera’s Italian accent, and slips into the persona of each woman as though changing from one silken gown to another.
“I know them so well,” Trowbridge said.
In the play, she re-enacts the day Cabot proposed to Vera, a woman nearly 30 years his junior.
They share two decades of marriage before Cabot dies. Vera, who learned to speak English after coming to the United States in her early 20s, is left in charge of his company.
Trowbridge then portrays Sheri in the early stage of dementia.
“When she hears certain music from the 1940s, all of a sudden she’s a young girl again. And when the music stops,” Trowbridge said, “she’s back to reality,” in an Alzheimer’s care home.
Reception for Trowbridge
After Trowbridge’s performance, Olympic Theatre Arts will host a reception in honor of her 20 years as a stage actor, director and choreographer — most recently as the dance coach for OTA’s “Cabaret” in February.
When asked what gives her so much vigor, Trowbridge said, “I don’t know. I know that when I’m working in the theater, energy just comes from somewhere. When I was doing the choreography for ‘Cabaret,’ I was out there in the kick line. And I thought hey, this is pretty good.”
She relishes, too, the chance to entertain while raising money for Parenting Matters.
“It seems to me they do some wonderful work,” Trowbridge said.
“We’re going to have a good time Saturday.”
Sequim-Dungeness Valley Reporter Diane Urbani de la Paz can be reached at 360-681-2391 or at [email protected]